Monday, October 20, 2014

BDv.37: Public Speaking and Triathlon Winning!

My favorite thing about this pic? Scars. That big one on my neck, the nasty one on my arm. For me this pic denotes the reason for persistence beyond disaster more than any of the others ever taken.

My birthday is tomorrow. I just read over my post from last year for my birthday, and it's a lot of the same thing; glad I'm not in the hospital, yadayadayada. I have gained weight since then, I was right on track with that one! My time for walking has not consistently significantly improved, but that's a matter of time right now. I talked about swimming 1000 yards for the first time since I was hit, and this year if they wouldn't have canceled it I would have raced 1500 open water. Here are the posts I'm referring to in case you're interested: October 2013 Posts

BIG things for me include continuing on this determinational (my term!) speaker path; that talk I gave to the UL Softball team solidified to me that that's what I want to do, speak with athletes and other determined people. My amazing friend Annette and I are going to give our first joint talk together this week for the UL Disabilities kids. We ROCK together; this is my favorite blog post of mine you should read it: 2014 (Inaugural) Zydeco Half Marathon Race Report by SPECIAL GUEST Annette Coussan (with commentary by me) ;) I am super stoked about this direction in my life and I'm going to start putting my effort into it, starting right now. It's been hard finding a direction to try to get income with, but I think overall this is a good one.

ALSO THE BIGGEST NEWS YET! This is what makes this birthday the best ever When I was racing, that brief time in my life before I was hit, I got 1st AG at the Miles Perret Triathlon at UL. Two days ago I did the swim leg of a relay team for the UL Tri, which is basically the same course. Mary Hays of GEAUX RUN asked me and Sarah Tennison, swim coach at Swim Fit, if we would do it with her. We came up with the name "TriAngels" because I love a play on words, and Sarah drew this awesome symbol for us:
SO cute, right? I had not met Sarah before we had decided to relay together, but she is so happy and charismatic, and focused; I loved her instantly. Somehow the three of us quickly made a winning team, and we WON the relay for this race! This is a non-sanctioned short sprint tri; 200 yard swim, 8.5 mile bike, and 2.5 mile run, so the competition isn't as fierce as for other races. Having said that, we were 18/106 OA (I'm going to include guys and girls), my swim was 82 (so I beat about 1/4 of the people there, and I thought I would be last!), Mary was 16th off the bike and Sarah 16th off the run. I've got some fast friends ;) But honestly, we pulled it together without ever racing together before and we rocked it. Love these girls, I hope there will be chances for us to work together in the future.

Mary going into T2


Sarah leaving T2

We're so awesome!

Jamie Blanchard is the super-sweet fiance of Dustin Duval, both are great people!
Doc Z I posted this pic for you, my favorite cycling jersey!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Newspaper Column on Bicycling

I started on with Lafayette's The Advertiser. Check it out! This pic is of my bike that was smashed up by that stupid car. It's name was "Crotalus" for two reasons: 1) It's the rattlesnake genre - do you know rattlesnakes have fast-twitch muscle fibers in their tails that never tire? 2) Crowie Alexander is a triathlete crush of mine. YAY look for it every Thursday at noon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10 Days Before the 2-Year Anniversary of When I Was Hit

October 1 is always going to mark 10 days before the anniversary of my failed attempt as a speedbump for a career (just stole that from Ian Fairclough, ha!)

My birthday is also in October, and my favorite holiday, and I love Fall and pumpkins and camping so it's not really a bad time for me, just thoughtful. Glad I'm not in a hospital missing my favorite time of the year. You know this time of year has the best sunrises and sunsets? Glad I'm strong enough again to tie my shoes and feed myself and limp, if not walk well or race. Glad I can swim. Glad I can raise my son. So far to go still...but anyway.

AND life is moving on. I renewed my vet license and I'm finding out I can do some things I didn't think I could, like pull blood and give vaccines. I'm also finding out that things that should be easy are do-able but hard, like suturing or neutering a cat. Putting on sterile gloves is my limiting factor, that's embarrassing. But I have good people to work with and I'm getting better. Most importantly I'm feeling good about my diagnosing and treating skills. I was worried I had lost them but I'm confident. The next step is relief work. So, I'm looking! There's a lot of good vets in the Lafayette area, but check out The Waggin Train. High quality medicine, super-sweet docs, and ME hanging out. ;)

I'm also now a  Realtor. It's hard to stay interested because not a lot is going on yet, but I'm stoked that I took the time out to learn a skill and get licensed in something that can give me at least supplemental income for the rest of my life. Gotta get that ball rolling more.

ALSO I am giving more talks again. I was just able to meet with the award-winning UL Softball Team. Besides for being amazing athletes and accomplishing so much on the state and national scale recently, they are incredibly sweet. Very proud to get to know them. I'm going to start marketing speaking engagements; I enjoy them and I like the connection I feel with the crowd. Toastmasters International, The Evangeline Club has been really great about getting me ready to do this, especially the President. So much good advice and direction. I'm looking at doing some along the Missouri River next summer, if ya got any leads let me know!

Which brings me to bikes bikes bikes. Because that's what's taking up most of my time right now. Now that I got a taste of freedom (I've worked or gone to school full-time or more since I was, well, since forever) I want a life where I can take off for even a month and travel. I'm planning the Lewis and Clark trail next summer.
Lots of my triathlon club members (I'm the head of the Tri-Cajuns Triathlon Club) are racing right now and I'm having fun watching them. I didn't think I would, I get really sad, but I love being surrounded by athletes and it helps me move forward. I do have a 1500 meter (0.93 mile) swim race in New Roads in 11 days, and I'm doing the swim part of a relay for the UL Tri with one of the owners of Geaux Run and the swim instructor for Swim Fit.
And I can't stress BikeLafayette enough right now! Such big happenings; this organization is growing so fast out of necessity and I'm proud to be part of it. It's a little overwhelming but it's fun to help the community in such a big way. The local government is even pushing hard for a bicycle-friendly community, which is great because we're working together and it's not an uphill battle. If you want to help support bicycling in Lafayette, and stay aware of all the progress, please go to the website and join. Increased membership is our next big step.

What I learned in 2 years. A lot, but this:
I'm not a fan of popular novels as a whole - they seem just deep enough to be interesting but always fall short of being real, but The Poisonwood Bible had something that really caught my attention. It takes place in the Congo and is written from the points of views by a crazy missionary's daughters and wife. A quote has stayed with me; one of the daughters said this about the Congolese: "Here, bodily damage is seen as a product of living, not a disgrace." That hit me hard, because I have been SO embarrassed by my injury. My weak hand, my limping. BUT that embarrassment is a product of our society, it shouldn't be a disgrace! It's hard to convince myself of that - that I'm still a beautiful and viable part of society - but I do believe it to be true even if I'm having a hard time internalizing it. And when someone cares more about your injuries and less about how you handle them...well, you're better than that. I care about how you handle all the craziness that happens in life, that is what always has been what is important. I care about YOU. I may even care about you more than you care about me but whatever, I know what I'm worth. Injury is a by-product of living. I'm not going to feel sorry for you. We got this.

Never too early to decorate for Halloween!